Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Are we...Waiting for Superman

"Education is a social process. Education is growth. Education is, not a preparation for life; education is life itself."  ~John Dewey

I have been in the Education business for the last eleven years.  I know it is not perfect, but I am beyond passionate about my profession. An industry that is so important will always be much criticised.  There are constant worries that we don't measure up.  The other guys are scoring higher test scores,  their graduation rates are better- are worries that echo in our ears every single year.  

The upcoming release of Waiting for Superman is making these echos grow louder.  I know that there are some schools and school districts that are not working and they are failing our future.  There are some, like mine, that work and we are not alone in huge nation.   

Eager to be see if my passions were correct I have done a little research.       

The National Assessment of Education Progress has been tracking the schools progress since 1973.  There is progress it is slow but test scores show that we are improving. Not just in Math but Reading too.  The education gaps between the races is slowly closing.  Public schools still lag behind Catholic and private schools in these test but all three groups are moving up the scale to progress. Progress and increases have a statistical relationship with the amount of money that are invested in schools.  

Miller-McCune, did an incredible posting, "What are American School Doing Right?" about researching what those top countries are doing that is working.  Unlike what many are touting here in the states of privatizing schools the countries and townships found that the resources in the district model were best to turn the system around and keep it working.  That even though we keep hearing the barrage of criticism we are doing a ton right.  We may not be at the top of the list for test scores but we are still the global standard.  Our graduation rate maybe 70% but we have not gone down we are still getting better. His findings are that despite our diversity we are doing a great job, but it all boils down to money.   

Before you rush out to see a movie that shouts at what we are doing wrong check out what we are doing really right.  

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer KirkpatrickSeptember 22, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    America is not hungry enough for education to work for all people. It is expected to be an a la cart service, but the reality is that cannot happen when you have 25-30 individuals in a classroom.

    My most successful students are the ones whose parents know what a difference education can make. I have students of Indian-American decent that travel back every year to see family. Their parents instill in them what a difference education makes. If you were to travel to see family and see the of squalor and filth your family COULD be living in each year, if might be motivational to you to do the best in the one place that can distinguish yourself apart from people who only go to school because laws force them to be there.

    Perhaps the economic depression our nation nearly incurred was what America needed to remind the generations of post-Depression era citizens of how GOOD we have had it and that our blessings are not due to luck or what was owed to us- but from the grit and labor of a generation that truly knew what hard times were. My in-laws are members of that so-named generation, ate squirrel brains as kids and loved them. Damn! If them ain't some hard times, what was?

    If you polled many Americans right now, they cannot tell you their child's teacher's name. They can not tell you what their child ate for lunch that day. They cannot tell you if their child had homework. There are too many people wrapped up in their own post -adolescent lives to know what is going on with their kids. AND WE ARE SUPPOSED TO DEALT WITH THAT?!!?

    BTW, my child ate a hot dog for lunch, we completed the homework that Mrs. Stewart sent home, had a story read to him and is currently asleep.